Construction is part of life in New York City, the largest and most densely populated metropolis in the United States. Buildings, streets, parks, and so many other pieces that make up the city are constantly being raised, refurbished, demolished, and rebuilt to account for an ever-changing set of needs and a rapidly evolving world’s available improvements.
The constant backdrop of construction as part of day-to-day life in NYC is why the city and state governments have strict regulations concerning the construction industry, as mistakes and cut corners can lead to serious consequences, including building collapses. Responsible parties can be held liable under the law for losses resulting from collapsed buildings in NYC.
How Common Are NY Building Collapses?
Building collapses are frighteningly common in NYC. Just recently, a parking garage partially collapsed in Lower Manhattan, leaving at least one person dead and several with injuries. Several other NYC building collapses with similarly tragic consequences have occurred at least once per year during most recent years.
Why Building Collapses Occur in NYC
Some examples of the most common causes of building collapse due to structural failure in NYC include:
- Deviating from blueprints
- Installing roofing materials incorrectly, leading to moisture intrusion
- Using inferior or ineffective materials
- Building weak foundations
- Failing to conduct strength tests
- General construction company negligence
Who Can Be Held Liable for an Injury Caused by a Building Collapse?
It depends. If you’re a construction worker who gets hurt on the job due to a building collapse, you can file a claim with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. The benefits you could receive can pay your medical bills and replace part of your lost wages.
Although numerous parties, such as subcontractors and architects, work together to design, construct, and maintain buildings, general contractors and property owners are primarily responsible for managing and overseeing construction projects. New York Labor Law 200 requires these parties to provide reasonable and adequate employee protection. If supervisors fail to do so, and workers get hurt in preventable building collapses, several parties could be liable under the Labor Law.
If someone else is at fault for the accident, you could file a third-party claim or lawsuit against them. Workers’ compensation benefits limit injured employees to coverage for medical treatment and partial lost wages. However, the money available in a third-party case or a lawsuit under the Labor Law could also compensate you for all your lost income and damages like pain, suffering, emotional distress, and noneconomic losses.
Options for Families Who Lost Loved Ones in NYC Building Collapses
If someone close to you dies in a building collapse incident in NYC, you could have grounds to file a wrongful death claim. With a successful wrongful death claim, you can demand compensation for your loved one’s final medical expenses, burial costs, and the loss of your loved one’s income, among other damages. Death benefits from workers’ compensation could be available if your loved one was killed at work. A knowledgeable construction accident lawyer can help you determine all possible sources of compensation for your losses after a wrongful death.
Contact Our Building Collapse Lawyers in NYC to Protect Your Rights
The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., has more than four decades of experience fighting for injured construction workers in NYC. Call or contact us online for a free case review to learn more about your legal rights if you suffered a job-related injury in an NYC building collapse.